Sports Outside the Beltway

Ilya Bryzgalov signs 3-year contract extension with Phoenix Coyotes

The Russian born goalie was put on waivers by Anaheim barely two months ago. From AP-

PHOENIX — Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has signed a three-year contract extension with the Phoenix Coyotes, the young team he has helped become a winner this season.

A league source, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the club does not make salaries public, said the deal is worth $12.75 million.

Acquired off waivers from the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks last Nov. 17, Bryzgalov has played a crucial role in the Coyotes’ surprising surge into contention for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

“I chose to stay in Phoenix because I love our fans, my teammates and I’m confident that we have a bright future ahead of us,” Bryzlagov said Tuesday in a news release announcing the signing.

The 27-year-old Russian has appeared in 28 games for Phoenix, going 16-10-2 with a 2.33 goals-against average. Counting his time with Anaheim early in the season, Bryzgalov is 18-13-3 with a 2.38 GAA.

He has an NHL career record of 43-33-10 with a 2.44 GAA in 97 games.

Bryzgalov won his first four games with the Coyotes.

“He’s a world-class goaltender with a Stanley Cup on his resume and has been a great addition to our hockey club,” general manager Don Maloney said. “We are thrilled to have him in a Coyotes uniform for the next three years.”

Bryzgalov’s career has taken some odd twists of late. He was a member of a Stanley Cup Championship team, then shopped around during the off-season(he was rumored to go to Florida before the Vokoun deal happened), then released by the Ducks because of disagreements with his coach and picked up by Phoenix. I truly think Anaheim is going to regret letting go of this goalie. Bryzgalov’s at least the match of Jean-Sebastien Giguere the Ducks’ current goalie IMHO and three years younger to boot. Letting Bryzgalov go to a division rival I think will boomerang on Anaheim long-term.

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